The Art of Command in the Civil War

By Steven E. Woodworth | Go to book overview

Introduction

"Everything is very simple in war," wrote nineteenth-century German philosopher Carl von Clausewitz, "but the simplest thing is difficult." The basic solution to many a strategic or tactical problem may be, in an academic sense, fairly obvious. Yet as this sage veteran of the Napoleonic Wars pointed out, actually making things happen in such a way as to bring about victory is a difficult matter indeed.1

A constant temptation for those who study war--and particularly the exercise of command--is to fall into the error of thinking that the problems confronting a historical commander were really easy ones. "Monday- morning quarterbacks" have their academic counterparts in next-century historians, who, if they are not careful, can begin to think that the solutions to a Civil War general's problems lay close at hand and were to be had for the grasping. Such misconceptions are particularly hard to avoid if latter- day scholars allow themselves to conceive of the war as a sort of chess game--neat, orderly, quiet, and rational. Calm, comfortable, and unhurried, chess players study the situation at length and without disturbance. They then make their moves carefully, based solely on their own calculations of how best to win. Pieces may be moved with precision and complete predictability over a neat grid of right angles and perfect squares. A very small amount of reflection should be adequate to convince us that the game of chess bears only the vaguest theoretical resemblance to the hard business of war. A little more reflection should assure us that military command is not solely, perhaps not even mostly, a matter of strategy and tactics either.

To be successful, an army commander must manage to relate well to his nation's commander in chief and such other political powers as may affect his operations and the conduct of the war. This may very well include the newspapers and public opinion. He must select loyal and efficient subordinates, secure their appointment, inspire their cooperation and that of such

-ix-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Art of Command in the Civil War
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 196

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.